Former India captain Raj kept her Women's Premier League options open after announcing retirement and has finally found home in one of the five teams for the inaugural edition.
Former India captain Mithali Raj is set to join new Women’s Premier League franchise Gujarat Giants as mentor for the upcoming season. It’s been reliably learnt that the 40-year-old was keen to play in the tournament but lack of interest from the franchises forced her to take up the mentor role with the Gujarat unit.
“Mithali Raj was keen to play but she is now all set to mentor the Gujarat team for the inaugural Women’s Premier League,” a source close to the developments told News18 Cricketnext.
“Yes there was interest from her side to play, particularly for the team based out of Mumbai but things didn’t quite materialise the way she would have wanted and a lucrative role with the Gujarat team came her way. It’s always good to have a presence of someone like Mithali in the camp. The vast experience across formats will only benefit the team she is going to be a part of,” the source added.
Mithali has featured in 89 T20Is for the country and accumulated 2,364 runs at a healthy average of 37.52. She last played a T20I game for India back in 2019 against England at home. She continued to play ODI and Tests before announcing retirement in June 2022. Mithali has been the face of India women’s cricket for decades now and her participation in the Women’s Premier League will only boost the brand value and connect with the masses.
The right-hander kept her WPL options open after announcing retirement and has finally found home in one of the five teams for the inaugural edition.
The Adani Group bought the Ahmedabad franchise with the bid of Rs 1,289 crores – the highest – at the auction held by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday.
The Gujarat Giants cricket franchise joins Adani Sportsline’s family of teams like the Gulf Giants in the DP World ILT20 and the Gujarat Giants in the Pro Kabaddi League.
The five successful bidders for the inaugural season of WPL include Adani Sportsline Pvt Ltd (Ahmedabad), Indiawin Sports Pvt Ltd (Mumbai), Royal Challengers Sports Pvt. Ltd (Bangalore), JSW GMR Cricket Pvt Ltd (Delhi) and Capri Global Holdings Pvt Ltd. (Lucknow).
BCCI Secretary Jay Shah termed January 25, 2023 as a “historic day” in cricket as bids for the Women’s Premier League broke the records of inaugural men’s IPL back in 2008.
“Today is a historic day in cricket as the bidding for teams of inaugural #WPL broke the records of the inaugural Men’s IPL in 2008! Congratulations to the winners as we garnered Rs.4669.99 Cr in total bid,” Shah tweeted.
He added, “This marks the beginning of a revolution in women’s cricket and paves the way for a transformative journey ahead not only for our women cricketers but for the entire sports fraternity. The #WPL would bring necessary reforms in women’s cricket and would ensure an all-encompassing ecosystem that benefits each and every stakeholder.”
Earlier this month, Viacom 18 Media Private Limited won the consolidated bid for media rights (TV + Digital) for the WPL from 2023 to 2027. The media group won the rights with a bid of Rs 951 crore. The auction for the WPL are likely to be held in the month of February and the tournament is set to start in the first week of March this year.
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